Central Florida hit hardest by the state's record number of hepatitis A cases this year


  • Adobe Stock photo
With an additional 89 cases reported last week, Florida has had 1,220 hepatitis A cases this year — more than in the five previous years combined, according to information posted on the state Department of Health website.

The outbreak has hit hardest in the Tampa Bay region and in parts of Central Florida.

The disease, which can cause liver damage, can be spread through such things as food or drinks that have been contaminated with fecal matter from people with the disease. Health officials have urged people to get vaccinated against the disease.

Florida had 548 cases last year, which was a major jump from 276 cases in 2017, 122 cases in 2016, 123 cases in 2015 and 106 cases in 2014, the department’s numbers show. Since the start of 2018, Pinellas County has had the most cases, with 357. It is followed by Pasco County, with 300 cases; Orange County, with 193; Hillsborough County, with 180; Marion County, with 89; and Volusia County, with 83.

Stay on top of Orlando news and views. Sign up for our weekly Headlines newsletter.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected].

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club for as little as $5 a month.